Sunday, April 17, 2011

Library challenge results

This is the third year I've done the library-loving blog challenge. The first year was an experiment, really; I thought maybe I'd wind up donating $25 to my local library. Instead, a bunch of volunteers came together to raise more than $1600. The second year, I had many more volunteers and people to spread the word, and I was able to put in much more time, and we raised more than $5000.

This year, I didn't have as much time or energy as last year, and I didn't have nearly the number of volunteers. I considered not doing the challenge. Even though I've never officially made it an annual event, for three years it's turned out that way, and I'm really touched when people ask me when I'm going to do it and say they're looking forward to it. But this year I wondered whether I should let it go, given that I'm trying to do less this year, and that I had a smaller network of helpers.

In the end, I decided: what the heck, let's go for it! After all, the first year I did this, I had no expectations. And once I put up this year's first post, I remembered why I love to do this (aside from helping libraries, of course): it's fun. Much more fun than just writing a check. And I reminded myself that any money we raise, and any consciousness-raising we do on behalf of libraries, is worthwhile.

I haven't received final official reports from all this year's participants, but I have from almost everyone, and for the remaining couple I went by the latest stats on their challenge posts. Here is the honor roll of the angelic people who came forward with their own time and money to help libraries, and whose enthusiasm and generosity were immensely inspiring:

Jama Rattigan of Alphabet Soup: $200 worth of wishlist books for Fairfax Library foundation (VA)
Kimberly Sabatini of Jess Free Falcon: $150 for Blodgett Memorial Library
Kathleen Marold joined onto Kimberly Sabatini's challenge, for an additional $82 for Blodgett Memorial Library
Amy Brecount White: $100 for a Pennsylvania library
Janet S. Fox of Through the Wardrobe: $82 for the Bozeman Public Library (MT)
Angela De Groot: $100 for a local bookmobile
Sarah Mullen Gilbert of The Writing Cave: $50 for Barlow Memorial Library, Iowa Falls (IA)
Jessica Shea Spotswood: $75 for Adams County Library
C. Lee McKenzie of The Write Game: $310 for Los Gatos Public Library
Heather of Marine Corps Nomad: $50 for Foothills Library
Jessica Leader: $62 for Louisville Free Public Library
Kimberlee Conway Ireton: $36 for Seattle Public Library
Colleen Rowan Kosinski of Writer Girl: $50 for Cherry Hill Public Library (NJ)
Margo Rowder of Margoblog: $174 for Evanston Public Library Friends (IL)
Kelly Fineman of Writing and Ruminating: $50 to her local public library
and me: $125 to Cheltenham Twp Libraries, $125 to Philadelphia Free Library (PA)

According to my spreadsheet, that's $1821, more than we raised the first year. To everyone who volunteered, donated, commented, and/or spread the word: Thank you.


  1. Cheers to you for leading this challenge, Jenn!! I love participating and being part of the team. In these tough times, with so many things happening all at once, I applaud you. Hugs to all the volunteers!

  2. Well this has been a revelation, Jenn. First, what a wonderful idea you've had and how great the results have been. Second, what a dolt I've been. I thought I FOLLOWED you a long time ago. Well, at least that's remedied.

    Stop into the Write Game for Poetry April and say hi.

    See you for LIbrary Challenge next year.


  3. Thank you, Janet and Lee, for being part of this!

    And Lee, I'm reading your poetry posts, even though I haven't commented yet. Often I don't feel like I have enough insight into poetry to comment, but I suppose I should just get over that.

  4. Hi Jenn,
    So sorry I hadn't replied sooner – I was on vacation. :)

    Including my new twitter followers and my last-day push ($5 per comment and follower), I ended up raising $174!
    Thanks again for running the challenge this year.

  5. Thanks, Margo! I'll update all my info as soon as I get a chance. Great news!